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Dealer installed factory items


West Peterson
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How does AACA look upon dealer installed items that were NOT available for certain editions of it from the factory. In today's way of ordering cars, the "grocery list" for options is mainly a list of different "series" or "editions" of the same model, i.e. "base", "limited", "premier", etc.

Situation:

Car owner buys a "base" vehicle, then has the dealer install fog lights that were only available with the "limited" or "premier" editions. Is that consider kosher if the part is a factory-correct item ... just on a different edition??? What about wheels? (basically same question)

It would seem to me that one would really have to be a model-specific expert to know exactly what was and wasn't available on every edition in the future.

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West,

I can't speak to the AACA judging requirements, but I will say that the whole "dealer installed" rationale is a very slippery slope. My experience is primarily with Oldsmobile musclecars, and the reality is that the dealer could have installed anything the customer wanted. Documentation of such a dealer installation (as opposed to it being bolted on during the frame off, over-restoration) is usually nonexistent.

One example is the 1966-67 Olds W-30 cars. There were only 54 factory-built cars in 1966, but a "Track Pack" with all the parts was available from the dealership and anyone could have bought and installed it. This has become a point of contention in the rarefied world of 1966 W-30s, as you might imagine.

A little further down the slope is items that were "factory authorized" but never installed. An example here is the rally tape stripe used on 1965 Olds 442s. No car ever came from the factory with this stripe, but they were available at dealerships for installation.

Even further down the slope are the dealer conversion cars, such as the Yenko and Nickey Chevrolets. I'm not talking about the COPO cars that were at least partly factory built, but the dealer engine swaps. What's the difference between a dealer swapping in a non-factory motor and the owner doing it in his garage? Of course, the same could apply to the early Hurst/Olds cars, built by Demmer (though at least we know that the engines were installed on the Olds assembly line).

Like I said, I don't have an answer and this topic can rapidly devolve.

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Interesting question West. Many manufacturers’ higher end models had more options available such as deluxe steering wheels, stainless fender skirts in lieu of painted, different hubcaps, leather seats, different colors, tops, etc. I would hope that the AACA would not allow a base car to have accessories that were only available on its higher end models without a deduction however, verfiying would be on the same scale as researching vin numbers on the show field, too time consuming.

Correct accessory documentation should be easily obtainable for the different models. Do the judges check what was available and correct for each model when questioning the owner, probably not? From my experience from being questioned by the team captain many many times for my various factory accessories (51), they just looked at the documentation to see if it was factory correct but not by the model. Personally I think they should be checked.

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Guest my3buicks

I have several unique factory autherized options on my 67 Buick - the judges at the AACA national meets have almost always questioned me on them - but I have had proper documentation that they are and were correct for the vehicle - it's all lands in the hands of documentation. If I would have a 4 note trumpet horn in my 67 "A" body and the judges questioned me on it I could show them documentation that it was a Buick factory accessory option, but in the same documentation they would see it was only availavle on Riv & full size so it would be incorrect and should be a deduction.

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Essentially, If the car could have come from the factory as it is presented, it would be fine. If the particular set of options as presented could not be bought new (either from the factory or including factory authorized options) then it would merit a deduction.

In actual practice, it will be difficult for the judging team to be able to correctly identify all factory installed or authorized option combinations on all cars on an AACA showfield. If it looks correct, you might very well be able to slide by without receiving a deduction that should really have been taken. If it looks suspect, the judging team should ask for documentation. Documentation is the key. As long as you have your documentation, and the judging team does what it is supposed to do, you will be treated fairly.

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I believe West’s question is do the judges check if the accessory was available for the model.

Example: An autronic eye option is only available on model xx, not the lower end models yy. It clearly indicates only available on model xx in the documentations fine print such as the dealer album, factory accessory listings, etc. I have never had a judge read the availability of the accessory per model, just that it was factory available and correct.

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Guest my3buicks

Ron, funny you should use that analogy - I in fact have autronic eye on my 67 "A" body and have had judges in fact read the literature far enough to see that it was proper for the car model along with other accessories that I have. Some people are put off by this, I find it a learning experience for the judges.

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Essentially, If the car could have come from the factory as it is presented, it would be fine. If the particular set of options as presented could not be bought new (either from the factory or including factory authorized options) then it would merit a deduction.

In actual practice, it will be difficult for the judging team to be able to correctly identify all factory installed or authorized option combinations on all cars on an AACA showfield. If it looks correct, you might very well be able to slide by without receiving a deduction that should really have been taken. If it looks suspect, the judging team should ask for documentation. Documentation is the key. As long as you have your documentation, and the judging team does what it is supposed to do, you will be treated fairly.

This gets really tricky with imported cars, where most accessories/options were frequently only available as dealer installations, and in many cases they were tolerated to a high degree if not encouraged by the manufacturer. Things as basic as floor mats and air conditioner units could be sourced from multiple sources and rolled into the purchase price, and the only documentation that can be found will be a generic list things a dealer may have for installation. And that list will usually be published by the U.S. distribution arm of the manufacturer (not the manufacturer itself), if not an independent distributorship such as Max Hoffman's or Kjell Qvale,

My TR6 could have been purchased off of the showroom floor with one of 3 a/c units, one of 2 different trunk racks, and a bunch of other stuff that might or might not have been made for a TR4 but still fit the newer car and was sold along with it. I had several Japanese cars in the 1980s with similar multiple a/c units available. At best there will be recently published "originality guides" which will describe these items (for the more popular cars like MGs and Triumphs), but usually you'll just find a cryptic notation of "available air conditioning", etc.

And then you get into the issue of parts and accessories produced for other markets. My car 1970 TR6 will have special separate bulb headlights produced for the European continent which were factory installed, but not for U.S. models (where they weren't legal until 1985). These things are almost impossible to find, and are probably the most valuable item besides the overdrive that I'm building into the car. Even in Europe they don't turn up often because it was cheaper to install sealed beams when the bulb burned out. Nobody would consider it a diminishment of the car to have them installed, yet there will be a points deduction in an AACA meet for them. If I installed non-Lucas sealed beams to avoid the AACA deduction (Correct Lucas headlights have been unavailable for decades, are almost as expensive as the Euro-units I have if they work, and suck!), I'd lose points in a Triumph or good British show judging.

Most import marque clubs simply ignore accessories and non-U.S. market items because of these issues. They judge what is judgable.

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To me it is very simple.

As an AACA trained judge and Certified Team Captain I judge, or oversee a team of judges, the way I was trained to do by the AACA.

The rules of other clubs do not apply in AACA judging.

Our rules do not apply at the meets of other clubs.

Simple. :)

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Susan, not trying to back anyone into a corner however the original question was “How does AACA look upon dealer installed items that were NOT available for certain editions of it from the factory. What are the AACA rules on this?

Do the AACA judges: verify that it is correct for the year and manufacture only? Verify that it is correct for the year, manufacture and model? From the posts above Keith stated that the judges did verify his Buicks autronic eye was available for both the model and year. From my personal experience from many times having to show accessory documentation, few if any times did the judge(s) verify the accessory was correct for the specific model.

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In my judging experience over the last 20 years or so I do not remember any conversations re an accessory being proper for a particular model though we have often checked whether an accessory was in fact factory authorized for a particular make and year. Reality is, unless you are lucky (unlucky) enough to draw a judge who has specific knowledge of your particular model any factory authorized accessories for the year of your vehicle will likely go unchallenged.

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Do the AACA judges: verify that it is correct for the year and manufacture only?

Interesting point, Ron, and thanks for bringing it back on topic.

Certainly, in the case I'm trying to bring to the table, the parts are "factory authorized". And most assuredly, the dealer would readily install the items. If a buyer wants to go the "old school" route of picking accessories from a shopping list, he has to do it through the dealer rather than the manufacturer. If I were buying a new vehicle, that's the way I would do it. I want "X" vehicle, but with the wheels only available on the "Y", and nothing else. I obviously could show documentation (25 years down the road) that the wheels were correct for that year vehicle.

I would hope that just because I couldn't order it from the factory that way, I wouldn't be penalized for having correct-year, correct-model, factory-made parts on it.

Of course, I am NOT referring to cross-blending of parts from different models (i.e. Ford Taurus wheels on a Ford Freestar).

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Susan, not trying to back anyone into a corner however the original question was “How does AACA look upon dealer installed items that were NOT available for certain editions of it from the factory. What are the AACA rules on this?

Do the AACA judges: verify that it is correct for the year and manufacture only? Verify that it is correct for the year, manufacture and model? From the posts above Keith stated that the judges did verify his Buicks autronic eye was available for both the model and year. From my personal experience from many times having to show accessory documentation, few if any times did the judge(s) verify the accessory was correct for the specific model.

Section 1

C. General Policy

The objective of AACA judging is the evaluate an antique vehicle which has been restored to the same state as when the dealer received the vehicle from the factory. Any feature, option, or accessory shown in the original factory catalog, sales literature or company directives for the model year of the vehicle, will be accepted for judging. .....

In my experience when I have asked the owner, or their respresentative, for factory documentation for a questioned item, or items, what the owner has presented was for the year, make and model of vehicle that they are presenting to be judged.

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In regard to my question, I guess I could interpret that to mean it is perfectly fine: If I show a catalog for a 2010 Ford Explorer, and the wheels I have on my base truck match the ones on the Limited, I am within the rules.

Thanks Susan.

West, Only if they were available as factory authorized for the 2010 Ford Exporer base model truck. If they were only available for the 2010 Ford Explorer Limited edition truck then they would be incorrect and therefore deductions would be taken for each incorrect wheel.

Many catalogs/brochures of that era have a graph in the back of the brochure as to which items are available for which edition of vehicle. It won't work to take wheels from one edition and put them on one they were not authorized by the factory for. It wouldn't matter if the dealer put them on, wrong would be wrong. :)

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Susan

Only if they were available as factory authorized for the 2010 Ford Exporer base model truck. If they were only available for the 2010 Ford Explorer Limited edition truck then they would be incorrect and therefore deductions would be taken for each incorrect wheel.

I disagree, based on your previous quote of the rule:

Section 1

C. General Policy

... Any feature, option, or accessory shown in the original factory catalog, sales literature or company directives for the model year of the vehicle, will be accepted for judging. .....

This is obviously open to interpretation, and can easily be argued in favor of the person with a base vehicle with Limited features. .... Especially if I produce a letter from the manufacturer that says the dealer is authorized to install any item available from the manufacturer.

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In my judging experience over the last 20 years or so I do not remember any conversations re an accessory being proper for a particular model though we have often checked whether an accessory was in fact factory authorized for a particular make and year.

This has also been my experience from being asked for documentation many times. Yes they are checked for year and make but not for the particular model, which can require reading and sorting through the documentation.

Many of the accessories and options such as curb feelers, tissue dispensers, compasses, windshield visors, exhaust deflectors, etc were available across the entire line and dealer installed. Some of the factory options such as deluxe steering wheels, padded dashes, autronic eyes, 4-barrel carburetors, electric antennas, wire wheels, were only available on certain models, however many times they are installed on lower end models by their owners. <O:p

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Especially if I produce a letter from the manufacturer that says the dealer is authorized to install any item available from the manufacturer.

West,

If you have that letter among your documentation, then the item would be factory authorized and there would be no deduction.

Without the letter, the documentation showing that a particular option was available for a particular trim level or model other than the one shown might be a problem.

An argument can be made either way, as the rule indicates " for the model year of the vehicle". Does that mean for the model year of that "make of vehicle", or "make and model of vehicle", or "make and model and trim level of vehicle".

Remember that we have a Judging Guidelines book, not a Judging Rulebook. Common Sense sometimes has to come into play. If in doubt, simply ask the Chief Judge at a meet for a ruling, or ask the VP of Class Judging in advance.

The end result we are looking for is "authenticity". In most cases, minor issues like this will probably not be noticed by the average judge and no deduction will be taken. Other than that, most judges understand that our purpose is not to "nitpick" a vehicle. In case of doubt, the owner gets the benefit of that doubt.

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Susan

I disagree, based on your previous quote of the rule:

Section 1

C. General Policy

... Any feature, option, or accessory shown in the original factory catalog, sales literature or company directives for the model year of the vehicle, will be accepted for judging. .....

This is obviously open to interpretation, and can easily be argued in favor of the person with a base vehicle with Limited features. .... Especially if I produce a letter from the manufacturer that says the dealer is authorized to install any item available from the manufacturer.

First, if an owner can produce an authentic letter from a manutacturer that an item was authorized to be put on the vehicle in question then there is no issue. That is proper documentation. We are told in judging classes, and it is written in the Guidelines, that as judges we are to accept proper factory documentation without question.

Section 1

C. General Policy

... Any feature, option, or accessory shown in the original factory catalog, sales literature or company directives for the model year of the vehicle, will be accepted for judging. .....

The meaning of "model year" is clear. The meaning of "of the vehicle" certainly seems to imply the make and model of the vehicle in question. And we are told time after time about items needing to be correct for the year, make and model of vehicle.

Sometimes certain accessories came standard on the higher end models but were available as authorized upgrades for the lower models at a separate price.

And we are told in every judging class that documentation is the burden of the owner. That a Team Captain can accept or reject the word of the owner when no documentation is provided by the owner.

Edited by Shop Rat
Correct a type-o. (see edit history)
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A suggestion from a "non-expert"!

The AACA has 8 more Meets this year in the states of North Carolina, Vermont, Minnesota, Tennessee, California, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. These Meets are the perfect time to get answers to questions like these, plus you'll be able to experience the AACA judging system and have fun doing it.

Wayne

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Would the Pace Car decals on a 78 Corvette be considered a dealer installed factory item? The cars were delivered from the factory with the decals in a box, to be stuck on by the owner or the dealer at the owner's request at no charge.

I think NCRS deducts for the decals if they are installed or out of their original boxes.

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Here's an overloaded '56 Ford Sunliner to use as an illustration...

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Below are some of the accessories from the Fairlane brochure...

1956%20Ford%20Fairlane-10.jpg

If the wires are wheel covers, the owner would have to validate the difference bewtween the style

on the ground and that of the conti-kit. He'd take a hit for the '56 Mercury Flo-Tone trim on the doors,

unless he could prove it was available on Fords.

TG

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It just seems to me that while no era is immune, this "Christmas Tree" phenomena seems most prevalent on late 50's machines. If you add on this amount of options and accessories you can easily push a Bel Air into Buick territory! I don't think I ever saw, in real life, a Tri-Five Chevy with a tissue dispenser, but they appear to be almost compulsory these days.

Sort of like the opposite I am seeing with some muscle cars. There seem to be many more cars running around with heater delete or radio delete block off plates than I ever recall seeing back then.

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A question was brought up in the Hudson Essex Terraplane Club. When did Hudson offer Twin H power in its cars? The factory began offering the option about the end of January of 1953. That would mean that all the 52s and 51 Hornets that have the dual carb setup are not authentic. Well, the factory did offer a severe usage option in August 1952 after all the racing success over the past year and the dealer would install the setup but it was put on at the dealer not factory. I dare anyone in this club to demand documentation for that and get it. A judge has a responsibility to assign the most points not look for the most deductions. I interpret this to mean, that if a judge needs to ask, he(she) problably is not sure, and the deduction should be avoided, unless the owner owns up to the issue or sounds like he knows what he is talking about. Now, it is fine to ask for proof, but what if the owner does not have any? A over zealous judge could chose incorrectly, and ruin a just reward for a authentic car. Bottom line, descretion is the better part of valor. When in doubt give the point.

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Ron,

Your post is a little difficult for me to follow. Let me try to give you my insight to hopefully help you understand AACA judging. If the factory authorized a dealer installed option, there is no deduction for that option.

A judge asks for documentation if they "know" or have reason to believe that something on a car is not authentic for the car. The purpose of asking is to give the owner a chance to show documentation, or to "sell" the team on why something questioned is correct. This is designed as a check and balance system to prevent a judge from taking a deduction that should not be taken.

The general rule of judging is to give credit if in doubt. No judges are trying to "take" points from a car that should not have the points taken. To be fair to everybody, however, if deductions are warranted, they are taken. Not everybody gets a 1st. In any competition there are winners and losers. That is just the name of the game.

Edited by MCHinson
spelling correction (typo) (see edit history)
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I had my 81 Imperial judged at Charlotte in April 2011. It is a senior car and for the first time I was asked a question about the wheels from the Chief Judge. Many cars from the 70s on had dealer installed accessories and trim features that created special "models" that were not necessarily officially registered in the sales books. Vinyl tops, special wheels, badging, even colors and interior design. I once owned a "spring edition" Cadillac Eldorado that had a unique dual color leather interior and carriage roof. My Imperial was originally purchased in Hollywood California and the local dealer specialized in designer edition cars. So it was equipped with wire wheels with Chrysler logo they were available as a dealer accessory much like Vogue tires are.

How is AACA going to handle these variations of cars especially as time goes on and more 70s and 80s cars come onto the scene?

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I had a judge ask if the door handle guards on my Hornet were factory? He accepted my answer, but who has proof of that. Some restorers are lucky to have door handles when they start a restoration. Either an owner can spend money and time attempting to find convincing data for every nut and bolt etc. for his vehicle, and carry a small library along, or depend on "the mercy of the court". This is the American dilemma today, an loose interpretation of laws as guidlines, or strict adherance to law as an exacting science.

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I had a judge ask if the door handle guards on my Hornet were factory? He accepted my answer, but who has proof of that. .....

Folks should always check with the AACA Library and Research Center for copies for factory documentation if the information can be had from there. AACA members can get up to one and a half hours of free research per year. Copies can be had for a nominal cost.

Documentation of questioned items is the burden of the owner. I judged a car Saturday at Charlotte and the owner volunteered documentation to our Team Captain that related to me, the Exterior Judge, regarding some chrome "ports" that he had added to the car. The Team Captain called me over to view the paperwork. It was a brochure from the factory and showed the ports and they and the installation were correct and I thanked him for the information and proceeded with the rest of my judging duties. We love owners like that who come prepared to answer questions and help by having their documentation handy. :)

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Thanks for the info everyone, I don't want any point deductions for the car I am restoring.

After hearing this, I guess I will not be installing a Lucas rearview mirror on the door of the 1962 Triumph TR4 I am currently restoring . They were not installed on the assembly line due to the chance of being broken off while shipping from England to the USA.

It was expected that the dealer/buyer would select a mirror and the dealer would install it either on the door or front fender. Triumph did not make a mirror. The mirror of choice was usually a Lucas model, but even that is considered after market.

It makes the driving a bit more difficult with my stiff old neck, so I will make sure my insurance is up to date.

Visit my website at: Bob's Vintage Cars

Vila

1933 Chevrolet

1962 Triumph TR4

1984 BMW 633 CSi

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Section 1

C. General Policy

The objective of AACA judging is the evaluate an antique vehicle which has been restored to the same state as when the dealer received the vehicle from the factory. Any feature, option, or accessory shown in the original factory catalog, sales literature or company directives for the model year of the vehicle, will be accepted for judging. .....

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Is it just me that thinks this statement contradicts itself?? The first part says the objective is to evaluate a restored vehicle to the same state it came from the factory. The second part says to accept the car with what came with it plus whatever Factory options the dealer could hang on it. I can't see how you can do part two while upholding part one. Also, if the second part is true then some cars could also be cloned as long as the style # in the vin. is the same and the said car is a option on the the other.

D.

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Like others have mentioned, there were some models that were available with dual quad carbs on the cars yet the factory decided it was cheaper/easier to just include the dual quad intake and carbs and have the mechanic at the dealership install and tune vs. having an assembly line worker take the time to tune the dual quads. Now is the owner of the car supposed to buy a single quad carb intake and carry around the carbs and dual quad intake in the truck to shows like the factory delivered it to the dealerships? If so, that would take half the fun out of the hobby.

Also, pertaining to factory documentation.... I have a 69 Charger and while trying to find factory documentation, I was advised by the Chrysler Historical center that a lot of records were lost from 1968-mid 1970s due to a fire at a warehouse. So, trying to prove something with little to no factory documentation is difficult for me. As it is, the 1969 Charger brochure is full of inacuracies such as showing 1968 parts when stuff was changed over to new / different parts for the 1969 model year. Example would be the fuel filler cap. In 1968 it was a brushed center vs. 1969 having a black background with a raised "FUEL" word where the brushed center used to be.

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Section 1

C. General Policy

The objective of AACA judging is the evaluate an antique vehicle which has been restored to the same state as when the dealer received the vehicle from the factory. Any feature, option, or accessory shown in the original factory catalog, sales literature or company directives for the model year of the vehicle, will be accepted for judging. .....

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Is it just me that thinks this statement contradicts itself?? The first part says the objective is to evaluate a restored vehicle to the same state it came from the factory. The second part says to accept the car with what came with it plus whatever Factory options the dealer could hang on it. I can't see how you can do part two while upholding part one. Also, if the second part is true then some cars could also be cloned as long as the style # in the vin. is the same and the said car is a option on the the other.

D.

I would invite you to become a judge. It is a great way to learn more in the hobby and have a great time. I think you might then understand that it would be quite impractical, possibly impossible in the time available at a meet, to nitpick every car to the point of identifying every item on the car to determine if it was exactlly like that particular car left the factory.

The AACA Judging system is not designed for perfection, it is designed to allow human judges to fairly judge every vehicle at a meet by a reasonable standard.

That standard is in my own words, "As the manufacturer intended for a car of that make and model to appear when the first owner took delivery of a new vehicle from the dealer"

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Have you contacted Chris at the AACA Library and Research Center for the information you are wanting? If not then here is the link to do so. Good luck.

AACA Library

Susan,

My family and I make it a point to stop out at Hershey every year we make our annual trip out to the outlet stores in Lancaster for my wife to shop. Its kinda my shopping, if you will, at the museum and library and research center. Unless they have gotten some new stuff in recently than the last time I was out there, I either have all of the same stuff or it does not pertain to my vehicle. I will, however, contact Chris and see what a new pair of eyes might discover.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Edited by resq302 (see edit history)
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I would invite you to become a judge. It is a great way to learn more in the hobby and have a great time. I think you might then understand that it would be quite impractical, possibly impossible in the time available at a meet, to nitpick every car to the point of identifying every item on the car to determine if it was exactlly like that particular car left the factory.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

My point was because of the way the system is set up two things can happen. One, someone could clone say a 64-65, 72-73 LeMans into a GTO because their style # are the same in the vin. Or a 64-67 Olds 442 for the same reason. Two, a 61 Pontiac Catalina starts life out as a 267hp 2bbl 389" engine with a three speed stick on the column and a 2.69 rear axle into a 348hp Tri Power 389" engine with a floor mounted four speed and a 3.64 posi rear end. The part that makes my head spin is that in the latter case the owner of one Catalina says he did all of this, and all of this is ok!

If I ever decided to be a judge, how would I handle such a Catalina knowing what the car originally started out as. I try not imagine because the older I get the less confrontation is better for me. I just know that in cars like the Catalina that 90+ percent were never built that way and the people that dress them up are playing with their imagination and ego...and we are losing perspective of what cars were really like.

Don

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